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May 30, 2017

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Baseball league Chairman Huang Zhen-tai announces resignation

CPBL Chairman Huang Zhen-tai (黃鎮台) yesterday announced his resignation from his Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL, 中華職業棒球大聯盟) post, likely a result of the controversy surrounding the broadcasting rights for the CPBL.

In Huang's announcement he stated that he plans to make clear all relevant issues regarding his departure on the Internet.

Huang had previously asked to resign in November 2013. However, his request was unanimously denied by the CPBL board of directors and he was asked to remain as chair. Huang's determination to resign is likely due to complications with the broadcasting media rights company Media Partners & Silva Limited (MP & Silva).

Earlier this year, CPBL decided to sell the broadcasting rights for CPBL games to MP & Silva after their original broadcasting company, Videoland Inc. (緯來電視台), offered the league less than the original NT$172 million in 2013 to air the games.

  Huang announced early this year that the CPBL had signed a 6-year television rights contract with (MP & Silva) for NT$2.04 billion. MP & Silva later sold the broadcast rights for the season to Fox Sports, which can only be viewed through the Multimedia on Demand (MOD) service from Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信). MOD, however, remains less popular compared to traditional cable networks, and along with the connection problems viewers encountered while streaming the games live, CPBL games garnered heavy criticism, with Huang reportedly bearing the brunt of the responsibility.

Matters were further complicated when MP & Silva later unilaterally announced the termination of the contract. Following a conference within CPBL, standing directors initiated legal action against MP & Silva. The CPBL will also reportedly seek to recover broadcasting royalties from Fox Sports.

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